Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph

But an even faster Maglev method is also in the works

91 Reg comments Got Tips?

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) began testing a 10-carriage 400kph (249mph) bullet train on Friday night.

Test trains will run twice a week and the process is expected to last three years.

Bloodhound SSC cover off

Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car aims to wake up Newquay: Rocket work restart in August


Once in service from 2030, the Alfa-X will run at a mere 360kph or 224mph when passengers are on board. This would make it one of the fastest trains in the world.

That record, however, might be beaten before then: Japan is also working on a Maglev train which has hit 603kph in testing. It aims to link Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027.

The train's first carriage is almost entirely a 22m tapering nose, topped by three small windows for the driver to see out, according to Bloomberg.

The company is not just focused on speed – its Joyful Trains division includes Pokémon-branded vehicles to put the, er, fun back into rail travel.

In Blighty, HS2 is due to carry its first passengers in late 2026 and is hoping for a top speed of 360kph. ®


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020